Select Page

Celebrate the Life of Dr. Joan Staple Lorch

A service to celebrate the life of Professor Emerita I. Joan Staple Lorch (biology) will be held on Saturday, March 4 at 11:00 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst, 6320 Main St. in Williamsville.

Refreshments will follow the service. All are welcome.

Submitted by: Allyson Backstrom, director, PreMed Center


March Career Events

The Career Development Office is hosting the following career events (listed above) for students and alumni.  Note:  Suit Up! is open to all faculty and staff.  Please share!

Submitted by: Eileen Abbatoy, director, Career Development, Griff Center for Student Success

Loughead Named Communication Director of NYS AAUP

The executive committee of the New York State Conference of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) has appointed Tanya Loughead, PhD, professor in the Department of Philosophy, to be communication director.

In selecting Loughead, the executive committee noted her experience interacting with the media on behalf of the Canisius College AAUP and other organizations. Loughead has demonstrated a commitment to defending and strengthening the educational experience for university students and faculty alike.

Responsibilities of the NYSC communication director include media outreach on behalf of university professors, both full- and part-time, and legislative outreach regarding policies that serve faculty and students across New York State.

Founded in 1915, the AAUP shapes American higher education by defining fundamental professional values and standards for higher education, advancing the rights of academics, and promoting the interests of higher education teaching and research.

Submitted by: Rebecca Krawiec, professor and chair, Department of Religious Studies and Theology; vice president, Canisius AAUP

D2L: Intelligent Agents


Have you ever wished you could automatically tell when a student has not signed into your course for a period of time? Or perhaps you want to automatically send out an Email to students that have yet to complete an upcoming assignment?

Then you’re in luck! D2L has an automation tool called Intelligent Agents that can do the above and some more besides.

Below, you will find a list of the new tutorials that COLI has created to help introduce you to some of the features of Intelligent Agents:

These tutorials, along with accompanying materials, can be found on the D2L Self-Paced Training for Faculty and Staff Wiki Page.

COLI QuickTip

Its important that as we create course content or administrative documents, we always bear in mind accessibility, or supporting neurodiversity and inclusivity regardless of physical impairments.

Screen Reader Software

Many computer and internet users have some form of visual or motor impairment which means they access digital resources and documents using tools other than a mouse or video display. A common assistive technology is a screen reader. Screen readers use underlying code on a web page, .docx file, and other digital media to read out loud text, with some formatting.

if you would like to try out screen readers, that’s easy: Narrator is already installed on Windows, and VoiceOver on Mac computersNVDA is also available for free, with a more complex toolset. These are sophisticated tools that can seem daunting, but bear in mind that users become just as adept, quick and efficient at using them as you may use a mouse and visual navigation. However, as with other elements of professional communication, it is our responsibility to make certain our digital text is easy to access and understand for those using screen readers.

List Properly!

For example, screen readers can note bullets and numbers in a list, along with the contents of each list item, so that users can understand lists as we intend them when we typed them in. But if we skip the bullet or numbered list tool in, say, Microsoft Word, Google Docs or D2L, and instead use something like dashes (-, or hyphens), screen readers skip over them, which leads users to potentially miss the fact that we are itemizing things in a list. At times it doesn’t matter; they understand our list by the context of our text, whether its in a bulleted list or a simpler sentence with a lot of commas. But if we opt to use a list structure, its probably for a reason, and we want to ensure all who engage with our text are able to understand it.

This short clip shows how a popular screen reader tool, NVDA, handles lists, both formatted properly with text editor tools, and formatted with dashes instead:

So when you are composing text with an itemized list, use the text editor’s list tool, so that the proper code is established behind the scenes and screen readers for the visually impaired can specifically identify the itemized list as such.

List tools can seem a bit fussy and uncooperative at times, but if you use them a lot they can save you time, since you can efficiently reformat lists as you revise your text.